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Demystifying the Packet Power LED data stream

Posted on Wednesday, July 27, 2016 by Alan Katz

Packet Power uses the local LED display on our newer meters to show more than just amps by phase. That's good, but it can get a little cryptic. Is "con" a good thing? If so, why don't you see it all the time? What does "no" mean? Why does Packet Power use a "U" to communicate voltage? And what's up with the red and green blinking lights? 

Read on for a quick overview of all that your power meter is telling you.

OVERALL

  • Some messages only appear when the device is first powered on.
  • Most devices then display monitoring data continuously.  
  • Data is presented with a label and then the corresponding value for that label.
  • The label appears for slightly less than one second followed by the value appearing for slightly more than one second.
  • "con" is a good thing and shows only when a device first connects (or reconnects) to the mesh network.
  • The LED uses the letter "U" for voltage because it cannot present the sharp bottom tip of the letter "V".


DEVICE FIRST POWERED ON

There is an initial series of displays when you power on your device. Unless you have connectivity issues, you will only see these values one time.

Order of display

Label

Value (example) What the label and value mean
First 8.8.8.8 Simply confirms that all segments of the display are working
Second P5 34 This is the version of firmware your device is using
Third Id 321 Shows the last three characters of the device serial number
Fourth rF EC.1 Shows configured radio zone
Fifth con EC.1 Indicates the node has successfully joined the mesh network in the specified radio zone. This is displayed once after successful connection and does not appear again as long as the node is connected
Fifth (alternative) no EC.1 This displays when the node has NOT successfully joined the mesh network. A flashing "no" indicates the node is attempting to connect. It will change to "con" when connection is established. This will display immediately on loss of connectivity and repeat in the LED display cycle until connected.

ONGOING DISPLAYS

Single-phase circuit
If you have a single-phase meter, your LED will continuously cycle through the following displays.

Order of display Label Value (example) What the label and value mean
First A 12.4 "A" indicates amperage and the numbers following are the real-time amperage reading
Second U 121 "U" indicates voltage and the numbers following are the real-time voltage reading
 REPEAT

You will see "A" for slightly less than one second , then the actual amperage for slightly more than one second. Then you'll see "U" for slightly less than one second and then the actual voltage for slightly more than one second. And, unless you've lost connectivity, the cycle will repeat.

Three node / Three-phase circuit
If your power meter is measuring a three-phase circuit, your LED will continuously cycle through the following displays. 

Order of display Label Value (example) What the label and value mean
First A1 12.4 "A1" indicates amperage for the first node and the numbers following are the real-time amperage reading
Second U1 121 "U1" indicates voltage for the first node and the numbers following are the real-time voltage reading
Third A2 12.3 "A2" indicates amperage for the second node and the numbers following are the real-time amperage reading
Fourth U2 120 "U2" indicates voltage for the second node and the numbers following are the real-time voltage reading
Fifth A3 12.2 "A3" indicates amperage for the third node and the numbers following are the real-time amperage reading
Sixth U3 121 "U3" indicates voltage for the third node and the numbers following are the real-time voltage reading
 REPEAT

You will see "A1" for slightly less than one second , then the first node's actual amperage for slightly more than one second. Then you'll see "U1" for slightly less than one second and then the first node's actual voltage for slightly more than one second. Then "A2" followed by the second node's amperage reading, then "U2" followed by the second node's voltage reading, etc.

LOSE CONNECTIVITY

If your monitoring unit loses wireless connectivity, a "no" and the applicable radio zone will appear at the beginning of the cycle. Note that you will continue to see amperage and voltage readings for the affected node. When connectivity is reestablished, you'll see "con" and the reconnected radio zone for one cycle after which you will just see the amperage and voltage readings.

WHAT ABOUT THOSE BLINKING RED AND GREEN LIGHTS?

Wondering what the red and green blinking lights mean? Get the details on our Smart Power Cable Indicator Lights and LED Display support page.

Packet Power is committed to ensuring an excellent customer experience. We have a wealth of customer and partner resources accessible from our Support page. You may also email support@packetpower.com for assistance.

Topics: Packet Power, power monitoring, Technical Information, data center power monitoring

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